Great news, you’ve added an IVR payment solution to accept payments from your customers by phone or text. Not only does this provide for an excellent experience for your customers, but it can be a significant benefit to your bottom line. But simply “turning on” payments by phone isn’t enough. Whether you’ve deployed our Compass Payments Suite or another solution, you still need to drive awareness and adoption.
Driving Awareness Increases Overall Electronic Payments
Before we get into some best practices for driving awareness of payments by phone, let’s look at some examples of the results others have experienced. In many cases, a campaign to drive the adoption of phone payments has the added benefit of increasing customer awareness of other electronic payment methods. The graph below showcases a few examples.
In these four examples, we’ve looked at how promoting phone payments can increase the utilization of all forms of electronic payments for utilities and municipalities. In the first example, a west-coast utility company more than doubled their electronic payments after just six months of promoting pay by phone. And over 60% of those new electronic payments were by phone. In the far-right example, a sizeable east-coast municipality showed a 9% increase after just two months of driving adoption. And in their cast, nearly all of the growth was attributed to payments by phone.
Driving Awareness: It’s More Than Publishing Your Number
Just as you wouldn’t expect your e-commerce website to generate revenue without promoting it, you’re not going to realize all the operational benefits of a pay by phone system without an awareness campaign.
The most crucial step in driving adoption shouldn’t need to be stated, but you’d be surprised how often this step gets relegated to the “back burner.” Make sure your customer service IVR system includes a “Press __ to make a payment” in your welcome prompts. With the high-availability of connected IVR systems like our Compass Automation Platform, you should be able to bypass that step by knowing the caller and remind them if their payment is due right in the IVR. It all comes down to making it easy for your customers to pay by phone.
Another important thing is to make sure your statements (whether print or digital) have your payments IVR phone number clearly and prominently visible. You may think this step is unnecessary for digital statements, but it’s vital and worth making it a click-to-call link. Many customers view their digital statements on their phones and may not trust the mobile hot-spot they’re using for secure payments. Adding a click-to-calk link to your payments IVR gives your customers a fast and painless option.
Make sure your website promotes your new IVR pay by phone service. Your customers will be pleased to see added services that make their lives easier. So take the time to explain how it works, why it’s highly secure, and always available any time of day and every day of the week.
When promoting your new payments by phone system on your website, you should create an informative landing page and treat it like any other promotional campaign. You should also consider a press release that drives traffic to the landing page, with quotes from your CEO or customer service executive.
These steps are essential not just for your current customers, but future customers as well. Today’s consumers make up to 80% of their purchase decisions through research online. If they’re comparing you to a competitor, your attention to detail in promoting multiple payment methods will stand out.
Now that you have that excellent landing page, it’s time to send out some emails. We recommend treating your adoption email campaign as you would any other marketing effort. Create at least three different emails and track open-rates. Send the second email to customers who didn’t open the first one, and the third to those who didn’t open the second. Make sure you also stagger your send-times across the three emails. If your customers are in multiple time zones, tailor your send times to their local time of day.
After three months, create a second email campaign that focuses on ease of use and benefits of paying by phone. Remind customers of all the payment methods available; credit cards, debit cards, and ACH. Your second campaign is also an ideal time to introduce a perk or other promotional item for customers who pay by phone.
And finally, if you’re sending paper statements, nothing gets your customers’ attention like a good old-fashioned statement stuffer!
We recommend a similar frequency as that of the emails. Three different creatives and messaging, in regular monthly statements for the first three months. This way, you can ensure that your message is heard loud and clear. Make sure your statement stuffers include the phone number of your pay by phone line and a link to the landing page you made. If the landing page URL is more than 20 characters, consider a link shortening service or a QR code link.
You’re On Your Way!
These tips will push your adoption campaign into high gear. Using these methods, you’ll dramatically increase awareness of your pay by phone offering, and as a side-effect, raise awareness of additional alternate electronic payment methods. And that’s not only good for your bottom line, but it’s also great for your people. Their time-spent will shift from accepting payment information to helping customers solve other, more critical problems.